tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 13, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
i'm traveling to washington, d.c., tomorrow for an exclusive interview with richard holbrooke, our nation's special envoy to afghanistan and pakistan. that will air tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. eastern and 6:00 pacific. that does it for us. "hardball" is next. good night. obama rang. the anger on the left. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, protecting the house. robert gibbs is saying publicly what a lot of dramatics have been saying privately, that the democrats could lose the house of representatives this november. we also now know that the white house has a pitch. keep moving forward, voters, not back to failed republican policies. can that sell in the face of high unemployment and a growing deficit? that's our top story tonight. but when it comes to the senate, the democrats may have received
a break from a most unlikely source. the tea party. as many as five senate seats that should have been easy republican wins this november are now up for grabs because the tea partiers have sent the gop careening to the right. also, do unemployment benefits make people lazy? that's basically the argument many republicans are making in the fight over extending benefits for people who have been out of work for a long time. plus, a debate that has exploded on the left in magazines and blogs in the past week. on one side, president obama has let progressives down. on the other side, get over it. he's doing all he can. let's get to that big one. let me finish with something a lot less sexy than lindsay lohan's latest court appearance, or mel gibson's latest tirade. but a lot more important. we begin with robert gibbs sounding the alarm that the democrats could lose the house of representatives. chris van hollen is the chairman of the democratic national campaign committee, responsible for winning seats in the house and protecting it this fall. what did you make of it when you
were watching on sunday when we saw gibbs? here he is. i was taken with the fact he would come out and say your party, his party as well on "meet the press" could lose. let's listen. >> i think there's no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up. a lot of contested seats. i think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall. but i think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause republicans to gain control. there's no doubt about that. >> well, what do you mean there's no doubt? that is the first time i've ever heard -- just imagine if he had said that about president obama last election when he was running for president. we would lose this thing, sure. politicians don't talk about losing. he did. >> listen, chris. two things. number one, we have said from day one -- >> were you surprised he said that on sunday? >> i was not surprised he said that for this reason. what he said was there are a lot of seats in play around the country. and it's a dogfight out there. we've been saying that from day one. we've been saying that from january of last year in the after glow of president obama's
election. be prepared. we have been prepared. the democrats are not going to lose the house. the answer is no. >> he said you could lose 30 seats. >> the way i understand what robert gibbs said is there are enough seats in play that mathematically that could happen. no one contests that fact. the question is, what is going to happen. the special election up in pennsylvania was a race as you know, all the pundits said if the republicans can't win that seat in this environment, there's no way they're going to take back the house. we fought a dogfight out there. we won by five, six points. because we made it a choice. just like robert gibbs has said. what this debate does is focus the voters on the choices they have. >> let's take a look, congressman, on what's going on right now. this is the way it works now. these are the numbers. you have 255 house seats in your party's control. 178 in republican control. go vacancies, one r, one d. so that averages out. so let me ask you about this. 39 seats you would loose the house. you would lose the subpoena power. darrell issa would have it. the republicans can't wait to
get it. they really want it, don't they? >> right. >> they don't want to pass any bills, so what do they want the house for? what's their real goal to get the house? >> their goal is to stop the obama agenda in its tracks. we had a big national election two years ago. voters wanted change. what the republicans want to do is go back to the same economic agenda that got us into this mess to begin with. >> since voters tend to be negative voters, meaning they vote against things, here's your free shot. what do you think is the worst things the republicans would do if they got the house back? >> they're going to go back to the same economic agenda. this is what they said they're going to do. this isn't made up. their number one economic policy is to reinstate the tax cuts for the very rich. this is for the richest americans. and we heard jon kyl just the other day say and they don't have to pay a penny for it. that's $700 billion. what next do they want to do? they all voted against wall street reform. we heard john boehner, the republican leader, describe the economic devastation that americans felt as a result of the meltdown on wall street. he compared that to an ant. he trivialized it.
so they have told us what they're going to do. joe barton, he will be their point person on energy policy. >> he works for bp, right? >> let's apologize to bp. because the president insisted -- >> well, they sort of tried to walk him on the plank on that one. >> but the missed story or the story that sort of got passed over there was that the day before, 115 members of the republican conference had said exactly the same thing. they said that the insistence on setting -- >> why do you think the republican party is so comfortably in bed with the oil industry? i'm not sure they all are, obviously. why do some members openly say we're in bed with the oil industry after this catastrophe? they're happy with the fact they're not regulated. they're happy with the fact they make a lot of money and they don't really get regulated any way that's going to protect our own coastline and our own waterways. >> they've taken the position for years with the oil industry, with the insurance industry, with wall street, business as usual. anything goes. we don't have to protect the consumers. we don't have to protect the taxpayers.
that is the underlying theme in the republican policy. that's what we'll go back to. >> let's take a look at the president. for a long time he never mentioned the opponent. he was like a chicago -- there is no republican party. now he's starting to name names. he's advertising your opposition. just like you advertised the republicans what they would do if they got in. here he is advertising what the republicans, using names like boehner, these curse words. boehner. what's the other guy's name? >> boehner and barton. >> boehner and barton and blunt. he's got them all, these b's. and bp of course. here he is in missouri. let's listen. >> you may have read the top republican on the house energy committee, mr. barton, publicly apologizing to bp. does anybody here think bp should get an apology? mr. barton did. he called this a tragedy. this -- this fund that we set up to compensate fishermen and small business owners throughout the gulf. that's not the tragedy.
the tragedy is if they didn't get compensated. this is the leadership from barton and boehner and blunt. sometimes i wonder if the no button is just stuck in congress. >> well, there you heard it. barton and boehner and blunt. i love the names. there he is, gibbs, the spokesman for the president on sunday underlining what you just heard is going to be the spiel from now until election day this november. let's listen. >> joe barton started his congressional testimony of the ceo of bp by apologizing not to the people in the gulf, but to the ceo. i think that's a perfectly -- pert showing what people are thinking, but the way they would govern. joe barton, john boehner, those are the things you'll hear from the president and local
candidates about what you'd get if the republicans were to gain control. >> you guys are out there nut collecting, aren't you? the democrats -- we've had a tough economy in this country. everybody has had a hard time. a lot of people have. another one, bachmann. you haven't gotten the other b here. if you're looking for nuts, it would seem you would put her in your basket. you haven't gotten to her yet. she wants to investigate you guys for anti-american activities. >> what's surprising, chris, is not what they plan to do, well, they have told us what they're going to do. they have forecast what they're going to do. joe barton has always been on the side of the big oil companies. he said it publicly. they've been on the side of the big insurance companies. >> who yelled out "you lie"? >> that was joe wilson. >> where do they get these guys? >> people need to focus on the fact that if you were to hand over control in the house, these are the guys who will be running policy. the guys who created the problems. >> what percentage of the republican party has moved --
what percentage of the republican party would you put in the nut bag right now? not just conservatives but people really crazy out there even beyond the tea partiers? you don't want to give me a percentage? >> no, buff the out of the mainstream caucus is the largest in the house by far. which is why have you these -- >> do you hear them talking among themselves on the floor? isn't bp great? >> usually they're a little more circumspect which is why it's something when joe barton gets out and makes these statements. but it's important that people understand what these guys really do. >> usually when you vote, a regular person votes with their gut. they walk in there they vote with their mind, too. i don't like the way things are going. they vote against the incumbents. that's called a referendum. you guys are trying to change that gut instinct to no, don't vote with your gut because that will screw your party. go in there and go which party's the worst? the democrats have not been a great success yet. but the republicans are far
worse. right? how do you get people to change the question from yes or no, do i like things the way they are or not like the way things are to, let me think, democrat versus republican? how do you get people to think like that? clearly, you're trying to get them to think like that. gibbs is trying to do it. and the president is trying to get us to think like that. choice, not referendum. how do you change it like? >> people at the end of the day have a choice between two candidates. >> they don't think like that. they usually go yes or no. >> we've said it's not just about us. it's us versus them. what differences do you have between the parties on these issues that are critical to americans? if we can get people to focus on the fact that john boehner describes the situation as ant. >> this is a frying pan into the fire kind of thing? >> well, this is let's have a real debate on the issues. and what's interesting is what they've told us what they're going to do. >> it's great you're advertising your opponents. the guys like boehner and mitch mcconnell and eric cantor and jon kyl have been getting a free ride in this country for months now. they sit back like burgers on
main street waiting for you guys to blow it and then they get all the votes. >> they get to sit on the sidelines. they get to whine, they get to carp. >> now we're saying put up. >> interesting choice your making for the american voters if they choose to make a choice. anyway, thank you chris van hollen. my congressman. there's a debate brewing on the political now. some liberals are saying the president has let them down. others say give the guy a break. we'll get to that. interesting debate on the left when we return. it's going to be a hot one. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. they come to us for help. at ge capital, we've been financing taylor guitars for over eight years, helping them build a strong dealer network. bringing music to people... i like that. ♪ ♪ [ bob ] i didn't know you could play. i didn't either. ♪
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>> people get surprised when we follow through and keep our campaign promise. well, he's -- he went ahead and did health care. why did he do that? i said i was going to do health care. it was the right thing to do. we said we would do something. we did it. >> wow. welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama late last week, thursday night exactly, saying that he delivered on his campaign pledge to reform health care in this country. many on the left however say he doesn't deserve credit, however, because he hasn't lived up to the promises he made during the campaign. neera tanden and we have the chief operating officer for the center for american progress,
eric alterman. you made a lot of noise in your article. let's talk about health care for a second. what would be your critique on television right now about how well barack obama responded to his own promises for health care in 2008? >> well, on one hand i want to give him credit for a historic achievement. i mean, every democratic president since harry truman has tried to do it, and only barack obama did it. the question is did he have to pay so high a cost? not allowing the reimportation of drugs. not allowing seniors to buy -- to use medicare to buy in bulk. no public option, et cetera. my problem with obama, and again, i think i'm pretty sympathetic to obama. i mean, i've never voted for a president in my life with such enthusiasm and i understand his problems. i don't understand why he didn't come in with a strong program and say come to me. the way ronald reagan and george w. bush did. and then let congress fight out
the details with the various lobbies. instead, he said, you guys work it out. the insurance industry, the pharma industry, et cetera. and let me know when you have something. for that reason we have a much weaker bill than we could have. if he had tried to define the ground on which it was response. >> neera, your response to that. >> i would say at the end of the day the bill was 80%, 90% what the president campaigned on. >> did he leave anything on the table as far as you're concerned in the end game? >> that bill was -- >> according to eric, he made the mistakes in the beginning. that's the way he did it. he sequenced because he didn't want to be like the clintons. because mrs. clinton said do it this way when she was first lady. it didn't work. was that loosey-goosey? did it hurt him? >> the facts are it didn't hurt him. the facts are that the bill that moved through in the summer was closer to what he wanted.
it was part of the negotiation on the hill where we lost some important things. at the end of the day, that bill was 95% of what he campaigned on. did he get everything? no. >> keynesian economics, i was trained in it, i believe in it. i still believe the government has to make up for a lack of demand when consumption goes down. the government has to step in or the economy dies like it did under hoover. i still believe that's true. however, i'm going to ask eric first. how would you rate his success or failure with stimulating the economy last year and this year? >> again, it was a terrific bill. a lot of good things are going to come of it that we haven't seen yet. and maybe they had to do it this way. i don't know. obama is a smart guy. rahm is a smart guy. they know stuff i don't know. but again, why did he come in and say here, republicans, are your tax cuts for corporations, so early. why didn't he say here's what i want and then dole out the pieces ahead. what keeps happening is they try
or try and try to get one or two republicans. the republicans play games with them. in the end they don't support it, and yet the bill reflects what the republicans wanted. >> eric, you were there. i was there. neera was there. they need specter, the two senators from maine. was there another way around it besides just blasting through the senate rules and see what pieces were left? what was the alternative? >> you mean with the stimulus? >> yeah, they couldn't get the 60 votes without specter and snowe and collins. what are they supposed to do? >> you were in tip o'neil's office in 1980? >> right? >> yeah, for six years. >> didn't ronald reagan change the terms of debate? by the way, this is what barack obama said he admired about ronald reagan and hillary took a pop at him unfairly i thought. he said these big ideas came out of ronald reagan. i want to be that kind of president. nobody would have believed ronald reagan could have gotten what he did out of the congress. >> let me ask neera to respond.
it has a lot to do with the senate rules about whether you can create a program like health care under reconciliation. we'll argue about this until we're dead. the issue is they didn't think they could do it. your thoughts? >> eric is making the point. which is the president has had the most transformative change of any president since reagan. health care, financial regulation reform. these are issues democrats have campaigned on. these are pieces of new legislation that no one -- >> fin regular. let's move on. the bill is probably going to pass. they got brown. let's see the president speaking about financial regulation post the disaster on wall street. here he is. >> i'll put in place the common sense regulations and rules of the road that i've been calling for since march. rules that will keep our market free and fair and honest. rules that will restore accountability and responsibility to our corporate board rooms. >> is he going to be proud of what he did in financial reg or is it going to look weak five
years from now? >> absolutely he'll be proud of it. the thing liberals are focused on is in the legislation. it's the most far reaching legislation since the new deal. it's the biggest piece of business reform in wall street that we've had. we have to look at -- it's like we're nit picking at the end in order to criticize this. >> they're screaming in wall street. they're all over the guy. in two weeks now he's anti-business. he doesn't like us. he's dumping on us. all of a sudden ere's this roar from the roundtable on down. everybody i've heard of is complaining to me. >> they're the most ungrateful s.o.b.s on earth. if you notice the stock prices all went up the minute that this bill was finalized even though the broader market went down. so no, they're thrilled. >> you think they're lying and whining? >> i think they're whining and the smart ones are lying and the stupid ones are whining. but look, on this one, i actually probably don't disagree with neera. we're 95% there on health care. on this bill, i'm much more critical. because he had the country
behind him on this. this was a political win for him. >> was it barney and chris dodd who let him down because they chaired those committees and they've been working on it on the inside? are you saying it's another case where he didn't define what he wanted up front? >> i'm saying money is the most powerful thing in the system. dick durbin quoting saying the bankers own this place. and they showed it and they did it quietly. look, why in the world didn't he break up the big banks? the too big to fail banks are still in a position to use the house's money. to make all these wild bets. they get the cash when they win. we pay when we lose. we're in exactly the same position we were before this happened. >> i couldn't agree with you more about the ownership of capitol hill. here's the hot one, climate change. which a lot of people know it matters in the long run more than anything else we talk about. we only have one planet. no alternative here. this is it, where we live. let's look at this. >> as president, i will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions
at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming. an 80% reduction by 2050. >> almost three years ago, neera, is he doing it? it looks so tough. it's so hard. >> i think the president should be kept to the promises he made for his term. and he should be kept to this promise. it's an important issue. it's a critical issue. but he has a term to do it. liberals should attack him and criticize him when he's failed to do it at the end of his term instead of attacking him 18 months in. >> you have to give him a couple more years. >> the business community has taken this sort of mockery approach to climate change. like they did towards evolution. like they did towards anything scientific. their ability to be knuckle heads and be proud of it amazes me. so your thoughts about whether we can get climate change even with this president. >> chris, this is one area where we need to talk about the media. more people question global warming today than they did two years ago.
when in fact there's more evidence that it's happening. all that quote, unquote, climategate, stuff that mostly your competitors -- msnbc has been pretty good on this, but fox and to a degree cnn and even the sunday shows have been peddling this. it's nonsense. people are believing it. it's a tough issue. because it's the future. what has posterity ever done for me? >> right. read the editorial in "the new york times" yesterday. which really cleared up a lot of the crap that's been said about this. your thoughts about this? >> and the "washington post" publishes george will on this. and then the newspaper saying will is full of it. "the post" continues to publish the nonsense. there is no sense of responsibility on this issue. sorry, neera. >> i can't agree with you more. >> this i agree with eric. >> we got to go. we're all rooting for this president to do something here, right? >> yes, we are. >> thank you, eric. you've stirred it up, sir.
thank you for coming on. up next, a little bit of disagreement on the left but it's where we belong. up next, michele bachmann i can't believe i'm saying it, continues to top even herself. her latest diatribe about the obama administration. wait till you catch this one. there's nothing she won't say. she has no stopper. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. woow! hey man, how ya doin'? how's your shave? kinda like tuggin' and pullin'. see how shaving can cause irritating tug and pull? [ male announcer ] that's why gillette's introducing the revolutionary new fusion proglide. it glides... like literally. [ male announcer ] now, fusion proglide has been engineered with gillette's thinnest blades ever so it glides for less tug and pull. turns shaving into gliding. and skeptics into believers. new fusion proglide. and warm up before you shave for incredible comfort with new proseries thermal scrub. and warm up before you shave for incredible comfort how do i know if i'm getting a good deal? you should talk to the specialist. the specialist? he compares rates side by side. you could save hundreds. it's easy.
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back to "hardball." what a side show we have tonight. them versus us. that's the rallying cry now of rand paul, the kentucky senate candidate. he voiced it at an event this saturday. let's watch. >> we have to get our policy out there. we're not going to get a lot of help from the newspapers. we must present our message. we must articulate it. we must not let them describe who we are. we must describe who we are. there has been a concerted effort since the tea party began to rise since my victory to paint us as something we are not there is nothing about our movement that is really outside
of any kind of mainstream. >> that's right, newspapers do nasty things like write down and print up what you said last week. you, dr. paul, said you had problems with the '64 civil rights bill and how it got enacted. you, dr. paul, called white house criticism of bp un-american. how are people to judge you if not by your words? but if you want to speak for yourself, you have a fresh start here anytime you want it on "hardball." speaking of tea partiers, michele bachmann continues to outcrazy even herself. she once accused the obama administration of running a gangster government has kicked up the rhetoric a notch. bachmann said at a conservative gathering in colorado this past friday that president obama is turning the united states into, quote, a nation of slaves. i guess once you get hooked on this stuff you have to keep upping the dosage. moving to south carolina, democratic senate candidate alvin greene tells "the new york times" the story of his unlikely primary victory has gotten
interest from a new york publishing agent and a hollywood screen writer. greene's actor of choice to play him in a movie, denzel washington. i saw him in many "st. elsewhere," i saw him in "glory." i saw him play brutus in julius caesar in new york. i saw him as the lawyer in "philadelphia." he also played malcolm x. i don't blame you, mr. greene, for wanting him to play you. my question, mr. greene, is who are you playing? now progressive has been the moniker of choice from the left as of late. how do americans feel about the word progressive? according to a new gallup poll, 12% say progressive describes their own political views. 31% say it does not. the more interesting number. how many said they're unsure of whether progressive defines them or not. wow. 54%. a solid majority of americans are unsure what the word progressive actually means. 54%. tonight's big number. i find it fascinating. scheduling note.
i'm speaking next tuesday night at the ronald reagan library in simi valley, california. next tuesday night, july 20th. for more information go to reaganlibrary.com. up next, are unemployment benefits a disincentive to finding a job? that's the argument some republicans are making, but is it true? that debate is straight ahead. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. (laughing through computer) good night, buddy. good morning, dad. (announcer) oreo. milk's favorite cookie. (announcer) oreo. discover customers are getting 5% cashback bonus at the pump... and at many of the places their summer plans take them.
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hey, everyone. here's what's happening. bp officials say a new containment cap is in place over that damaged well. if all goes as planned, all that gushing oil will be captured for the first time since the initial explosion. meanwhile, the obama ad minute stlags strags has issued a moratorium on offshore drilling.
the white house says drillers have to prove they are ready to deal with any new underwater accidents. north korea's military abruptly canceled a rare meeting with the u.n. command. they were scheduled to discuss the deadly sinking of that south korean warship back in march. switzerland is refusing to allow the egs digs of roman plans ski to face charges in the united states. and the crew member piloting the barge that collided with a duck boat in philadelphia is refusing to cooperate with investigators. finally, 83-year-old fidel castro made a rare appearance on cuban television to discuss the conflict between north and south korea. and now back to "hardball." you can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job. but it doesn't pay as much. and so that's what's happened to
us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don't want the jobs that are available. >> wow, welcome back to "hardball." that's nevada's republican senate candidate sharron angle. she's not the only one talking like that. here's arizona senator jon kyl in march. >> if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work. >> and it's not just the conservatives out west. here's republican candidate for governor of pennsylvania on friday. the jobs are there. but if we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there. i've literally had construction companies tell me i can't get people to go back to work, until they say i'll come back to work when unemployment runs out. tom shirk is with the heritage foundation. he's a senior analyst on labor economics. and former new york city public
advocate and host of syndicated radio show "both sides now with huffington and matlin." gentlemen, this is one of the issues. again we're going back to the high school debates ahead. like whether we should have the civil rights bill on interstate commerce. here we go with this baby. let me ask you, mr. sherk, do you believe people are shirking work to take unemployment compensation? they would rather get 300 bucks if you're making the absolute top of unemployment, rather than take a job for 30 or 40 a year. you're saying that? >> no, that's not what i'm saying. what employment insurance does -- this is finding of the science, it's not just me saying this as a conservative. the assistant secretary of the treasury for obama put out papers finding exactly this in his role as an academic economist. it's not a left/right thing. it's the finding of the science. it's when you extend the length of unemployment insurance benefits that people spend more time unemployed and take longer to find work. it's not because they're lazy or simply sitting on the dole. what it does is it changes the types of jobs that they look
for. if you're unemployed you would like to find a job near your city in the same time of work and preferably paying close to what you had before. when you've got say two years of benefits, those are the jobs you spend the first year or so looking for. the problem in this downturn is that a lot of the jobs that have been lost, particularly in construction and finance, simply aren't coming back. you're encouraging workers to spend a lot of time looking for jobs that don't exist and aren't going to exist. >> okay. i'm going to have mark respond to that. he makes an intellectual argument there. let's hear your response. >> this is as much science as terry schiavo was alive. chris, this as a good debate a century ago. from andrew mellen to herbert hoover to mr. burns on this -- the simpsons. there are people who say don't give the unemployed the benefits because they don't work. the science that most economists agree. some people may be very young, they may be professionals with some options may not seek work because they're getting a little benefit.
the overwhelmed percentage are panicked. desperate. can't meet mortgage payments. can't meet health care payments, can't pay for their drugs. i don't know how often mrs. angle or senator kyl or the economists have been unemployed. people all over the country are putting out feelers for jobs and there are 20 applicants for every job. and in this desperate situation, unemployment benefit extension does two things. it has ever since hoover. it's moral. it gives to people who are largely desperate. and it's perfect economics. it's countercyclical. the federal government spends money exactly when the economy needs a stimulation because business and consumers aren't spending. if there's not an overwhelming consensus for this, i don't think we should depend on free market abstract people who say the free market will stop toyota's -- stop it from collapsing and stop oil spills in the gulf. >> you know, it's interesting, mr. sherk. my son is an actor.
actors have to get jobs when they're not acting. my son said he shows up for jobs as busboy and things like that. by the way, thomas matthews. he looks like a movie star. he should be working more often. he shows up. mark, you know what it's like. they announced a job like at a restaurant for busboys, fairly an entry level job. not waiter which could be pretty professional, obviously. but busboy. the lines go around the corner. they're like trying to get an acting job. how you can say there aren't people looking for work pretty much at the entry level job? not the perfect job, the highly or semi skilled work, but basic work. and these jobs have lines around the corner. every time a hotel opens, the lines are around the corner for two or three blocks. why do you say there aren't unemployed people who don't really want to work? where do you make that case when every single time you open up a job, the lines are incredibly long and they don't get the jobs because there's only a few jobs open. >> i'm not saying they don't want to work. i'm certainly not saying we should get rid of unemployment benefits. it's simply a question of how much is appropriate.
i think two years is a bit too far. >> who are these people in the lines every time a job opens in new york that seems to be reasonably okay. not even attractive. just okay. a job that exists and the lines are around the corner. what do you think that is that phenomenon we're looking at? >> part of that is from the unemployment benefits. the financial industry has taken a heavy toll. a lot of investment banks have gone down. with those investment banks, a lot of the new york economy. so if you want to find a job, a lot of the workers now in new york who are unemployed are going to have to move to say, nebraska, or texas or one of the states where the economy isn't doing as poorly. but when you have the two years of benefits, it encourages the workers to look in new york instead of looking for the jobs in other states. >> do you live in the ivory tower of the universe? you're talking about a guy who has a house, barely able to pay his rent, and take the family and put them on a bus and drive to where? alaska? where was the one you were saying they should go to to get this busboy job? nebraska.
that is theory. that's not reality. >> here's the theory. people in ohio and michigan should move to nebraska because that's where the new jobs are. now follow this abstract theory. >> there's a new restaurant in omaha. get on the bus. >> we should cut the oil depletion allowance because that's making oil men lazy and not investing in technology. we should end medicaid. because then the poor will take care of themselves. they'll be motivated to be more healthy. this is insane. unemployment benefits work in every country and in this country except for a fringe ring who don't want it. >> i'm not calling for getting rid of them. >> you're complaining about two years. first, you know that two years is the absolute maximum. half the people -- half the people on unemployment now have been unemployed six months or more. bush lost 8 million jobs. he created 2 million in eight years. clinton created 22 million. republican economics dug this hole, and now you don't want to
help the victims out of it. that's very convenient. >> mr. smirk, your chance. >> all this government spending from the stimulus hasn't worked. >> two to three million jobs, say the cbo. who is right? your or the cbo? >> let's take the unemployment comment. mark, and mr. shirk. take the unemployment comp. is unemployment compensation overused, underused? is it a necessity where you have 10% unemployment in the country or not? this is a real unemployment rate, by the way. it's an objective fact. it's not about how busy or willing you are to take a lower level job. why do you think there is a 10% unemployment rate right now? is it because people won't take the lower jobs? >> that's part of it. that's not simply my saying it. the brookings institute recently released a paper on economic activity that found that the current unemployment extensions have increased the unemployment rate by about 1 percentage point. it's not most of what's going on, but it's contributing to it. that's the brookings institution, by no means a conservative institution. that's what the science shows.
>> the science shows that. >> mr. shirk, do you know anybody who is out of work? >> i have several friends who are out of work. >> so you have some familiarity with that? are they lazy? >> no, not at all. i'm not saying people are lazy. >> do they refuse to take jobs below their cut or self-esteem? what's their problem for being unemployed because you know them personally. are they the kinds of people that won't take jobs available because they insist on getting jobs appropriate to their ego? >> they're looking for jobs that match their skills. they have in mind something in terms of what they're looking for. most people do. >> have you told them they're living off the country too much, and to get off unemployment. have you told them that personally that will yet? >> i'm not arguing for getting rid of unemployment benefits. no one is arguing for that. >> you're saying people have too much self-esteem for the lower level jobs. that's why they're exploiting unemployment compensation for too long. >> what i'm saying -- >> that's what you said for five or ten minutes now. >> what i'm saying is it changes the type of jobs you look for something near your home. >> again, have you told your friends to take lower level jobs? >> if they've been unemployed
for a year and a half, yes, i would tell them that. >> but you haven't gotten around to it yet. >> those jobs in new york aren't coming back. >> it's kind of hard to do this. i'm having fun with you. it's a sad story. it's easy to tell a guy to go flip hamburgers who has been a nuclear scientist. i'm sorry, it's hard. to get unemployment compensation you have to prove you've been looking for a job. you have to fill out the forms. every time you go in for another check, you have to go through all this stuff. it's not like they're just waiting the checks. thank you james sherk and mark green. thanks for coming on. looks like the republican party lost opportunities by running wackos. instead of really serious candidates. maybe that's an extreme statement. you never know. sometimes whackos actually win. let's see that when we come back. you're watching "hardball." [ barks ]
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last minute. shed trailer will challenge vitter in the republican primary and state representative ernest wooten will run as an independent in the general. by the way, democratic congressman charlie mallison is also in the race. vitter has faced heat over the past few weeks because he had a staffer who handled women's issues for him who was accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend with a knife in 2008. vitter was tripped up before by the d.c. madame prostitution scandal. that was in 2007, but who keeps records? we'll be right back. ♪ because after you've washed the bills... and paid all the dishes... it's finally me o'clock. enjoy it with mousse temptations. three decadent flavors. 60 calories. it's me o'clock. time for jell-o.
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welcome back. the tea party movement deserves a lot of credit for motivating the republican base this year, obviously, but will they get the blame if republicans end up losing some senate races they might have won with a more centrist candidate? roger simon is politico's chief political columnist, "time" magazine mark halperin. gentleman, let's take a look at the board and how it looks right now. we've got 56 democrats in the united states senate. 41 are republicans. and two independents who caucused with the democrats. so basically the democrats are in pretty good shape to hold control. got 58. then robert byrd's seat, which will be filled, we assume by the
democratic candidate, but we're not sure. so they could hold 59 to start with. here we go with what it looks like. they would have to lose ten to lose control of the senate. we've got charlie cook right now who says they're going to lose between four and six. stu rothenberg between five and seven. sabato says seven. those are the predictions. now let's look at the states where the tea partiers, i want you to focus on this. five states where the tea party candidates having won the nomination could screw it up in an otherwise easy win. sharron angle in nevada is up against harry reid, she is the nominee. rand paul, the tea partier. he's in kentucky, he has won the primary. marco rubio is the candidate of the republican party in florida. and pat toomey in pennsylvania. and then we've got colorado, ken buck up against jane norton. ken buck being the tea partier. mark, you first. it seems to me that they have a problem here in that they could lose two or three of these they might have otherwise won with a
normal candidate, mainstream candidate. >> that's right, chris. these are five they should have won and they may lose them because of the tea party. the tea party has injected a lot of enthusiasm, but you take florida, if charlie crist hadn't been forced out of the party to run as independent, they would have run that seat. pesh, specter would have had a better chance than toomey does. and the only reason he left the party was because of tea party. now, republicans have done a good job in some of these places to try to shore up their weakened positions. but the fact they have to spend resources on it means they can't spend it in some of the other state z i actually think they still have a chance to win the ten seats. >> in other words, the country is so angry, they'd vote far right. >> and some of these other states like wisconsin and washington and california may well be in play, but the problem they have is they do have to worry about these five. they shouldn't, and they do because of the tea party's influence. >> usually these fringe candidates get in for one term and once people get a good look at them, they're gone. but they can win.
do you think the far right candidate could have a victory? >> yeah, i think they could. it's -- this is a strange movement. it's not a movement created by a leader. it's a movement in search of a leader. and it's very hard to look at it as a national movement where there's some organization to it. this is undefined, diffuse anger. >> has it encouraged candidacies? for example, i mean, pat toomey was already there. he almost beat specter, would have been there anyway. but people like sharron angle. she's a function of the tea party movement. she wouldn't have existed otherwise. >> sure. >> rand paul. he's the tea partier. >> the question now for a candidate is, why not run? >> because you know you'll get 30% or 40% to start with. >> so what if i don't have any money or name recognition? i'll pick up the name recognition from the media. there's all this diffuse anger out there. nobody likes the incumbents. i've got a good shot at it. >> in a "no" election, where
everybody wants to vote no about the conditions, although congressman van holland says we'll change it into a choice election this year, most people vote referendum. i don't like the way things are, i'll vote for anybody that's the outsider. is that what they're all betting on, mark? >> well, the democrats are certainly betting on that. they're also betting, chris, as you know, these tea party candidates not only put up candidates who will have a harder time winning for the republicans, but it does close that enthusiasm gap. the democrats can wave around quotes of these like sharron angle and rand paul. >> who's the craziest person that could win this year in the senate? craziest senator coming in this term? >> i'm not a psychiatrist, so i can't say. >> i was talking about political craziness, not psychological -- i think angle can win. i think she may be as far out as anybody's won for office. >> you really think she can win? >> well, yeah. the irish betting odds are 55% she wins. that's what i'm going by. you like that? >> she can win, for sure, but
again, even if she wins that seat, democrats can use her statements, they are using her statements, to raise money and energize democrats in other places. the biggest problem the democrats have now is to figure out a way to energize other democrats. >> i think a lot of these people are on a lunar module. thank you, roger simon, thank you, mark halperin. when we return, let me finish with the economic horror story facing this country and the two options we have to deal with it. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. our real chocolate chips... and reese's peanut butter cups... crammed into one exciting new cookie. so now, more than ever, there's a lotta joy in chips ahoy!
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let me finish tonight with a matter somewhat more important than lindsay lohan's parole violation or mel gibson's latest tirade. it's the economic hammer lock we're in. first we need to get the recovery going, because without a stronger recovery, this high unemployment's going to go on and on and on. secondly, we need to deal with the ballooning federal debt, now up to $14 trillion. yesterday, alan simpson and erskine bowles, who are sharing president obama's fiscal commission gave us the horror story. right now, believe it or not, the total amount of federal taxes covers only three federal programs -- social security, medicare, and medicaid. the checks you pay into the government in taxes are paying for just these three programs. that's it. everything else the government does like defend the country and fight two wars is borrowed from china or somewhere else. borrowed. so there you have it. the two realities. people expect government to do its part in driving a stronger recovery and getting people back to work, but if we're going to close the federal deficit even ten years from now, we have to